Future scenarios of the effects of the spatial and functional structure of Iran's metropolitan areas on the growth and prevalence of infectious diseases and COVID-19 (case study; Ahvaz metropolis)

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Geography and Urban Planning, Faculty of Literature and Humanities, Shahid Chamran University, Ahvaz, Iran

2 Department of Geography and Urban Planning, Islamic Azad University, Lar Branch, Lar, Iran

3 Department of Geography, Mazandaran University, Babolsar, Iran


The environment plays an important role in disease dynamism and determining people's health. In particular, the built environment has a great impact on controlling both chronic and infectious diseases in humans. The present research has been done in terms of practical purpose, in terms of exploratory method at exploratory level and based on future research approach. The present study, by operationalizing the framework of spatial and functional structure of cities, provides a more comprehensive approach to optimizing control programs and policies to reduce infectious diseases using indicators affecting urban structure and function with a future-research approach .The propulsion forces are determined by Delphi method, and then these factors are based on the importance and uncertainty, prioritization and the most critical factors, and software (MicMac) is used to write possible scenarios. During the scenario development phase, a total of 45 variables were identified. According to the research findings, among these factors, the index of worn-out texture and density of life, weakness of urban management, economic situation, improper distribution of urban services are the most key factors in the spatial and functional structure of this metropolis in the face of infectious diseases. Subsequent rankings had the highest direct impact as well as environmental quality, and poor physical activity had the highest direct impact on other variables.